If you have been following along with my lettering adventures here and trying it out for yourself I want to recommend you invest in what is called a dinky dip. They come in many incarnations, most of them are four small vials housed in a natural pine block. There’s pros and cons with that one, the big pro is if you knock one over (which you invariably will) you spill only the most minute amount of ink on your work surface. The cons for me are that I have been using an oblique holder (and sometimes nib) and I find it difficult to navigate the nib dipping within such a small space. Perhaps there’s a trick to it, but I don’t know it yet. The other con is I hate the way the natural unfinished wood gets so messy. I ended up spray painting mine with black chalkboard paint so it didn’t look like such a mess. The one I purchased above has a much wider dipping area and you don’t need to fill it to the top, so if you knock it over again the mess is less. I also like that the block is finished which means if I get ink on it I just wipe it off after each session and it looks brand new (yes, I am a neat freak).
This is an oblique nib holder, this version is a very inexpensive plastic option, I wanted to try the oblique holder out and didn’t want to invest in one that was more expensive if I wasn’t going to enjoy using it. I have since found that I do indeed like using this type of holder a lot. The oblique holder assists me with keeping on a nice slant which I have found very helpful. I have since invested in a more comfortable version, but it is pretty ugly so I didn’t photograph it, but you can take a peek at what I own here.
This is an oblique nib, which to me is one my most favorite lettering discoveries thus far, you can use it with a straight holder. This nib is made by Mitchell and is firm, for beginner’s it seems a firmer nib is much easier to manipulate (at least that has been my experience). You can get beautiful hair line strokes with this nib. The nib holder with the cork is so nice to have when you are doing long practice sessions or writing out multiple envelopes (which I have not tried to do yet). I promise to get up some specimen samples created with this nib so you can get a better idea, but I think this is a lot of information to process for today, no?
P.S. for those of you lucky enough to be in NYC, Paperfinger is doing a workshop-Love Letters & Valentines that I wish I could attend! It’s a beginning modern calligraphy workshop in a very intimate setting. I don’t know if there are still spaces but here is the link.
Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to the country with her handsome husband and two pups.